Saturday, November 04, 2006

Daily Digest November 4, 2006

Joe Hueglin wrote:


CHARLOTTETOWN GUARDIAN - Serious planning for climate change
P.E.I. is uniquely vulnerable to the effects of rising ocean levels.

HALIFAX HERALD - Huffing, puffing

OTTAWA CITIZEN - The judgment stands, wisely

OTTAWA SUN - Why we remember

NATIONAL POST - A better tax cut

LONDON FREE PRESS - Women's issues to the forefront

CALGARY HERALD - Digging deep for Afghanistan
NATO nations must show strong will in order to prevail

CALGARY SUN - Trusts and trust

CALGARY SUN - Just say no to selling kidneys

EDMONTON SUN - Grit nonsense

LETHBRIDGE HERALD - Military neglecting its own

VANCOUVER SUN - A global effort is needed before sea life is past the point of no return


Treaty cards pose border quandary

Prentice sees health, not rights issue

NATO launches attack on Taliban fighters

Trash fire mistaken for Taliban position

Splitting pension income is no cure-all
There is still a place for spousal RRSPs

Officials to smoke out 'abuse'
Exposing children to second-hand smoke could expose parents to a risk assessment by a social worker,

Ultimately, we're all in the same boat

When the Canadian dream dies ... Thousands of poor foreigners come to Canada for temporary work every year, but many soon become so disillusioned by their wages and living conditions that they turn around and head home

Owing an allegiance to two flags
Thousands of Canadians hold dual citizenships, including many who fled Lebanon this summer
There are those who say the concept is one of Canada's multicultural virtues

Thousands of former citizens snared in long legal limbo
Fathers became citizens elsewhere
Children stripped of citizenship

Quebec Liberals wade into 'nation' debate ... Jean Charest's provincial government waded into the debate dividing federal Liberal leadership candidates yesterday, insisting that recognizing Quebec as a nation is necessary, and that constitutional talks on the issue are ''inevitable

The feuding and fussing gets worse
They've been bickering for months, but now the Ontario and federal governments can't even get together to disagree,

PM calls off European summit

(related?) Britain, Germany put climate change at top of agenda

EU leaders miffed at Harper's summit cancellation

Tories, Liberals equal threats to public's trust
`New' government looks like old one

Minister accused of leaking details of trip to Dubai

Senators accuse feds of spying

Leader scolds Liberal senators
Botched Afghan trip proof red chamber is out of touch: LeBreton

Seeking to fill Trudeau's shoes
Liberals' late saviour still the benchmark for party leadersh

Tories steady in polls despite income trust uproar

Long-time Tory angrily quits party over trusts

Pollster predicts cliff-hanger

Sometimes breaking a promise is worth it

It's a matter of trust

U.S. vote key in war on terror
Americans must decide this election whether to fight overseas or die on their own soil

First we end barley monopoly, Strahl
Plebiscite rules unclear: No plans for CWB's wheat monopoly 'at this time'

Anti-scab law up to scratch

Harper vows to protect minority religions groups
Tories eye fund to shield schools, places of worship against terror, hate crimes

Security of Information Act requires overhaul, expert says
COURT I Ruling declares parts of anti-terrorism law unconstitutional

Conservatives fail to defend rural Canada on postal delivery

GLOBE AND MAIL SET OF ARTICLES Income-trust crackdown

Trusts demand PM hear their side
A $30-billion rebuttal

Flaherty's income trust trick was no one's treat

Plan for 2011
Easy double-digit distributions will end in 2011. Then the only difference between trusts and corporations will be governance

Where will income trust investors turn?
Yield-seekers may opt for government issues or corporate junk bonds

The $25-billion hammer

Telus takes its case to Ottawa
Telcom has two weeks to convince politicians its conversion deserves grandfathering inclusion

Trusts forge alliance to defeat tax
Ottawa insists it won't back down

The Tories did what was best for our country

Tax shifts set stage for war between young and the old
Seniors who vote will have ear of politicians on money matters

It's not about saving the planet

Greenhouse gases reach record high

Ozone problem shows the folly of messing with nature
Hole in the ozone layer has preserved Antarctic ice

Environmental reality hits home at last

Ottawa misses the boat on clean air strategy

Canadian statue will commemorate a man reviled in American history

Yes, Prime Minister, 'a courageous decision'

Save the oceans, sell the fisheries

A danger in leaving it to the market

The dark side of your Canada Pension Plan
Nine years ago reforms steered the fund built up by CPP contributions into the stock market. Now your retirement nest egg includes nuclear-arms makers, top polluters and more than $350M in tobacco stocks.


Harper annule sa participation à un sommet

# Une nouvelle ronde constitutionnelle est inévitable, selon Pelletier

Il y a 25 ans, la nuit des longs couteaux - Une Constitution inachevée

# Ottawa ne fera pas appel de la décision d'un tribunal dans l'affaire Arar

# Michael Fortier songe sérieusement à se présenter dans Vaudreuil-Soulanges

L'armée annonce dans le Palmarès des écoles

Harper absent à Helsinki


Fall out from income trust affair

No prob politically, it seems, aside from one EDA pres lost.

“The net result of my anger is that I can no longer be associated with a politically inept, incompetent political party
that hurts small and medium sized investors and that doesn't live up to its promises.”

A copy of the letter was also sent to Don Plett, the Conservative party president.

Mr. Plett said Mr. Ahern is the only riding association president to take this kind of action over income trusts. He said
he has received few complaints about the matter.

“I never want to downplay something like this,” Mr. Plett said. But “the way I understand it, you've only lost money
on paper if you don't sell out.”

Like Mr. Plett, a number of Conservative MPs say there has been little outcry from their constituents in the wake of
Mr. Flaherty's announcement on Tuesday.

Pierre Poilievre, who represents Nepean–Carleton south of Ottawa, suggested that the reaction has actually been
favourable because of the corresponding decision to allow older couples to split their income for tax purposes.


Mark Garstin

Subject: RE: Lost on critics


This article in the Star Phoenix is quite telling:

As I said before, pacifists are selfish. The progress and incredible improvement that has occurred in the lives of everyday Afghanistan’s is (in no small part) a result of Canadian involvement and sacrifice. This is incredible and ought to be a badge of national pride for us all. But the pacifists are willing to deny the people of Afghanistan, especially their women and children, the same rights, freedoms and privileges that they enjoy here in Canada just because Canadian soldiers are being killed? They are willing to negotiate away the rights and freedoms of other people so that they don’t have to face the anguish of a flag draped coffin (and when all hell breaks out and there is a human atrocity committed they will sit back in their comfy chairs and blame other people for it… what arrogant, heartless selfishness).

The other delusion that pacifists live under is that if they satisfy evil people and give them what they want then they won’t be bothered by those evil people (recall how Neville Chamberlain negotiated away the rights and freedoms of the people of Czechoslovakia to Hitler hoping that Hitler would be satisfied and, therefore, would not bother anyone else, especially the British). The fallacy of that thinking, though, is that evil will find you wherever you live if you don’t root out evil first. We saw how evil sought out the ultimate of pacifists in a quiet, innocent schoolhouse just last month. We saw how evil sought out innocent business people in NYC just over 5 years ago. And if we don’t root out evil in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the world then they will seek us out, in our homes as we sit passively in our comfy chairs (on that account, evil has already stated categorically that that is what they are going to do, and that was before Canadian soldiers confronted them on the ground).

I am dang proud of what Canada is doing to help improve the lives of the people in Afghanistan, and I can only take solace in the fact that there are only a few hundred people in this country who are selfish enough to want to deny the people of Afghanistan the wonderful gift of freedom that we are giving to them.

What are those pacifists thinking when they sing, “…we stand on guard for thee.”


Mark Garstin
Mississauga – Brampton South

"The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand."
- Frank Herbert

Jacob Rempel

Subject: VIEWPOINT: America's Point of No Return

America's Point of No Return
The elections should be a referendum on whether the United States will wage a virtually endless “World War III” against Muslim radicals—a kind of global version of Iraq—and whether the U.S. Constitution will be effectively repealed, replaced by a new system without “unalienable rights” for citizens and with an all-powerful President.
Now that George W. Bush has reframed Election 2006 around John Kerry’s “botched joke” and the notion that a Democratic victory means “the terrorists win,” Americans must begin looking seriously at what the continuation of Republican majorities in Congress would mean for the country.

In many ways, Election 2006 not only marks the last chance to exact some accountability from those responsible for the disastrous Iraq War and other failures, but it also represents a point of no return for a nation hurtling toward a future of endless warfare abroad and a new-age totalitarianism at home.

Indeed, one could argue that the trivialization of this important U.S. election – with major U.S. news outlets devoting two days of breathless coverage to Senator Kerry’s clunky joke – is confirmation of America’s rapid descent into a dark fantasy world incapable of separating meaningful fact from silly irrelevancies.

John Halonen

Regarding: North American Union - Canada, Mexico & United States

Canada should Count!!!!!!!!!

Senior Level Canadian Members of Parliament should not accept positions as approving the North American Union especially when tax revenues have been obtained fraudulently from one of the participants.
Did "Canada" initiate a tax scam under Brian Mulroney
Did the "US" subsidize Canada thru "Brian Mulroney" with a North American Union direction.

Stratos> Huh?

The mainstream Canadian Press should accept the responsibility to provide input as to the pros and cons of such a Union from a Canadian viewpoint.

All Canadian citizens should have the choice to vote on all sovereignty changes to the Canadian constitution, not just the elite or business entities.

Even in the US, there will be a chance to debate the merits:

Rep. Virgil Goode Jr., R-Va., has introduced a resolution – H.C.R. 487 – designed to express "the sense of Congress that the United States should not engage in the construction of a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Superhighway System or enter into a North American Union (NAU) with Mexico and Canada."

Where do Canadian citizens have input?

John Halonen

(Most never heard of the Superhighway System or the NAL, best a list of articles be put together.)
Robert Ede

Subject: Wheat Board ... a toughie


Thanks for wide range of articles/viewpoints on wheat board

It's a monopoly, but it seems to be a 'useful' one.

It's purpose seems to have been to give the heft of 'single source', to small individuals pooling their crops (sometimes not getting the very top, top, price, but often avoiding the worst, worst market price)

It pools the raw material and ships it out to have the 'value-added" somewhere else and the finished goods sold back to us (yikes!-we do this too much in Canada).

It's a toughie because it's a choice between the prospects of 'beggar thy neighbour' (without the single desk wheat board) and lost opportunity (for some with easy access to the US border or, the capital to start up a processing plant) to innovate.

I understand a proviso of the Wheat Board is that a plebiscite of members MUST be called before any change is enacted.

I'm a city-boy, so I'm not the one to decide

I do not normally favour monopolies,
I am a proponent of adding as many steps in the manufacturing process to raw materials, from Canada, IN Canada,
I can see the help that the Board guaranteed prices and warehousing capabilities provide in 'bad' markets

There must be another solution apart from 'all in or all out'
Robert Ede
Independent Candidate
London North Centre

Phyllis Hubeli

Becky, Joe, I have added my two cents worth in the body of your text.


"Rebecca Gingrich

Subject: DD CWB

Sticking to promises through stacking the deck

Activity relating to the Canadian Wheat Board is still my top focus (income trusts are concerns of investors of which I am not one).
This is something that every Westerner, whether he/she is a farmer or not should be deeply concerned with as it goes directly to the point of what kind of government we want. Do we want a dictatorship where the government, through the CWB or other body tells Canadians what they can or can not do, how and where they can sell their product and to whom it can be sold, or do we want a democracy wherein Canadian wheat farmers decide for themselves how they wish to conduct their business and with whom they wish to conduct it? I, for one, believe that the wheat board should be voluntary, guided by local farmers, not Ottawa through the guise of appointed directors and committee members who gain their position by means of a stacked deck, with farmers long retired to Florida and elsewhere, who no longer have a vested interest in farming, having as much of a say through their vote as a farmer who is barely scraping by thanks to the machinations of the wheat board.
Noting the abysmal failure of government interference in how we conduct our business, the fisheries industry is a good example of that, I much prefer that the individual farmer should be allowed to decide where and how he will sell his own wheat.

Appoint a commission of "Get rid of it" supporters, forbid the CWB leadership from arguing its virtues, terminate a Board member supporting it a year early - and earn the praise of Americans!
Becky I don't really think that you believe in this as it is as one-sided as those who are upset because the Conservatives want the CWB vote to be limited to those who have produced wheat during the past two years. You don't like "do nothing but use the taxpayer's money and produce nothing but drivel commissions" any more than I do. However, some farmers actually want to keep the CWB as something they can fall back on when it is difficult to sell wheat. I think that producing farmers, through their vote should have the right to vote to retain the CWB and if more farmers (which I doubt) share this view then so be it. The wheat producers will have spoken in the only way Canadians have left -- through their vote and that should be respected. I do agree with you that the CWB leadership should stay out of the debate as they have a 'vested interest' position.
Sticking by promises and principles is primary The means are incidental.
Had Canadians had a means of ensuring that our politicians did stick to their promises and principles this country would not be in the mess we find ourselves in today. How can we ensure that politicians do stick to their promises and maintain Canadian principles?
Joe--as an Easterner you have no concept of what the CWB is. If it is so wonderful why are not Eastern farmers clamouring to join it? If it gives Western farmers and advantage in marketing you would think the Eastern farmer would want it expanded to include them.
Good question, Becky. One that Joe did not answer in his response to you so perhaps we can elicit a direct response by asking it again: "If it (the CWB) is so wonderful, why are not Eastern farmers clamouring to join it?" If it is so good then why does it not cover every farmer right across Canada who produces wheat? The truth, of course, is that it is not good for wheat farmers and Eastern wheat farmers would not touch it with a ten foot pole.

The concept of an individual not having control of their product is communistic. The concept that Big Government has control of your product for sale is an irritant to many Western farmers.
If the government actually could do the job better than the average farmer, Becky, I don't think that anyone would be complaining about the CWB but, as we both know, the CWB was set up, not to help Western farmers sell their grain, especially to Americans, it was set up to ensure that Eastern farmers, who can sell their wheat where and to whom they want, have an advantage over Western farmers.

No one is asking the question -- why should a grain grower be forced to belong to the CWB? That is the crux of the problem. If the CWB is so wonderful and gets the best price for grain, you would think everyone would be happy. As it is though, the CWB books are closed so no one knows what is really happening. Two years ago farmers were notified that they would not be getting their last payment from the CWB because there was no money left. How many producers of anything would put up with that?
It is totally unfair that Western grain farmers for all these years were forced to sell only to the CWB at the price set by the CWB which had nothing whatsoever to do with world prices of wheat. Also, it was totally unfair that Western grain farmers had to accept the CWB grading for their wheat. Wheat that was of prime quality was downgraded because one insect and a few weeds were discovered after approximately 10 minutes of searching by a CWB employee. This meant that the farmer took home less money than he would have for the actual quality of his grain. Not only that, he could not receive his payment all at once but received a portion of it when he turned it over to the wheat board. He did receive a second payment but there was no final payment as the CWB claimed they were unable to sell his wheat and it had been donated to refugees in Africa. I am not positive but I doubt that he was able to claim for this forced donation on his income tax in order to reduce his taxes either. I can just imagine, Becky, what an Eastern grain farmer would do in this circumstance.
In spite of the rhetoric from Liberals, NDP and BLOC, no one is getting rid of the CWB, they are just making it voluntary. No one forbade the CWB leadership from defending their place at the trough--they were refused from using CWB funds for that argument. I didn't hear any argument from anyone when the supposed 'vote' a few years ago included dead farmers, farmers that had not grown grain for years, some living in Florida, etc.
Becky, I think that if a majority of Western farmers vote to retain the CWB then it should be retained. That being said, I am totally against the government appointing a person to direct the CWB or appoint members to sit on the Board. These positions should be voted on by the farmers themselves and filled with people who are actually working Western farmers. I agree with the Conservatives -- unless you have actually raised and sold wheat during the last two years, you have no right whatsoever to vote. I also agree that the CWB leadership should not be able to campaign using CWB funds. That money belongs to the grain farmers, not the leadership nor the government.

All I ask of you is to remember the Western grain farmer in leg irons for donating a bushel of his own grain to an American 4H member relative. He lost all his farm equipment to the CWB. Remember the farmers that wanted to set up a pasta flour mill--CWB refused to allow them to use their own grain--they would have had to sell it to the CWB first and then buy it back at inflated prices, thus making the enterprise unviable. The CWB prefers to sell the grain to the Americans and then consumers buy back the finished product. Don't forget that Western Canada grows the best pasta wheat in the world!
Our Durham wheat is sold in Italy itself to produce the finest pasta in the world. It is a sad statement about Eastern monopolies not allowing Westerners to actually begin a manufacturing industry that might survive and be profitable. The finest Durham wheat is grown in Western Canada. Why is it that Western Canadians are not allowed to set up a mill to grind this wheat and a plant to produce the finest pasta products in the world. Of course the Eastern manufacturers, et al, are not overt about this, it is done through Eastern controlled banks not allowing them to borrow the money necessary to set up these facilities and, prior to this, pressure being put on the federal government to introduce legislation which would make it difficult to operate such facilities. I will never forget the time that Honda wanted to build a manufacturing plant in Richmond because it did not want to have union workers and had this plant been placed in Ontario, where the unions wanted it to be, Honda workers would have to be unionized. Unions put pressure on the government and they in turn pressured Honda to ensure that no automobile manufacturing plant was built in B.C. The land purchased was paved over to become a giant parking lot for Honda automobiles straight off the boat and the plant itself modified to be nothing more than a place where any damage to cars could be repaired or broken parts replaced before they were sent to the dealerships. You can see it when you fly into Vancouver because "HONDA" is clearly written on its roof. Had any of these things happened in the East, it would not have been tolerated but we are supposed to meekly accept it without comment or action. Then Easterners wonder why there is as much talk about separation here as there is in Quebec.
Eastern farmers are in something of the same boat regarding the quota system--remember the egg producer who lost his whole flock because he sold some eggs that had not gone through the government grading station. Quota system is almost as bad, but not quite. I think an egg producer can have 200 chickens and not belong to the EMB, but 201 and he is forced to join! Eastern farmers should figure out that they are not as free as they think they are and start rebelling against government intervention in their business.
Becky, once again this is another example of Socialism at its worst. If you want to raise 201 chickens and sell their eggs -- and you have people that wish to buy them -- why the heck can't you do so! This is the case right across Canada, it is not just limited to Eastern Canada. Canadians right across this country have to decide for themselves whether they wish to continue slowly sinking into Third World status under massive government bureaucracy and regulations telling them what they can and can't do under almost every circumstance under the Liberal Socialists or, God forbid, the NDP Socialists, or do they want a free-market system and go as far as they are capable of going without the threat of government interference? My vote would be for the latter rather than the former. It has been proven time and time again that the government can not do anything better than the people themselves can and, in most cases, can not do nearly as well.
Depending on Big Government to know your business better than you do is a fools game, and the only winners are the government. You would think that most of us would have learned that by now!
I am in total agreement with this, Becky!

Why should individuals be forced to belong?
Blame it on Trudeau, Becky. He, under his Charter of Rights, made individuals into nothing and provided every fringe group in the country with group rights by means of the law.

. . . as an Easterner I'll leave argumentation pro and con to the value of the CWB to you and other Westerners. The political aspects are a different kettle of fish. Arguing the necessity of keeping an election promise holds no water. Rather than honouring promises to the softwood lumber industry the opposite direction was taken, the Commission was hand picked to get the desired result rather than a balanced view and a pro-CWB director cashiered a year before his term was up. "All's fair" is the saying. Get power and use it the pattern - but with these actions goes any claim to acting in a more virtuous manner than predecessors .
Keeping election promises, I would argue, Joe, is vitally important. These promises were given to Canadians in return for their vote. If politicians do not keep their promises to Canadians then why bother to vote for them at all? Of course, you could do as the Liberals have done so successfully for so many years and buy the votes of Canadians by bringing in programs that cost the taxpayers much more than the benefits warrant -- although they were not told that at the time. Take the long-gun registry for example.
The CWB leadership was appointed by Liberal governments and a majority of the board was appointed by the government too, not voted in by the working farm community. By allowing farmers long retired to Florida or California a vote because they always follow the Liberal party line was wrong, Joe. This skewed every vote brought down by the CWB and did not truly represent the Western farmers' wishes nor were these votes in the best interest of the wheat growers. Finally, by removing non-producing farmers from the vote, it will finally be a true representation of what the working farmers actually want when they finally get the opportunity to vote.